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The Importance Of Client Freedom And Finding The Best Home Care

smiling woman caregiver with elderly couple who are having coffee at table

Getting older isn’t always easy. As mobility falters and cognitive ability becomes less and less reliable, we’re tasked with getting our loved ones the best home care possible. But as we pore over checklists and consider things like companionship, housekeeping assistance, and living arrangements, we often fail to remember one important thing: the value of independence. At Premier Personal Care, we work tirelessly to balance the care our clients need with a healthy dose of freedom. Here’s why. 

Having Choices Matters 

While many of us dread the everyday games of 20 questions that often accompany even routine decisions like what to have for breakfast or where to go to dinner, seniors often find their freedom of choice slowly whittled down. For those who have been moved to extended-care facilities, meals are made at whatever time is convenient for the cafeteria, visiting hours are predetermined by the powers that be, and activities are scheduled with little flexibility.

Seniors who can stay in their own homes are often able to make more decisions thanks to the lack of institutional oversight. With a dedicated caregiver to assist, independent seniors can make their own schedule, put together grocery lists, help prepare dinner, invite over friends for a card game, go on spontaneous outings, and even get a pet for extra snuggles. 

The Right To Be Treated With Respect 

The time-honored idea of respecting our elders doesn’t always translate to the medical field. In fact, some studies indicate that traditional healthcare settings often undermine a patient’s individuality, and many healthcare professionals still adhere to outdated stereotypes about older people. While some hospitals and assisted living centers are making the effort to educate workers and challenge the status quo, the one-on-one attention associated with in-home care is tailor-made to honor individuality. Caregivers can help boost self-esteem and even promote overall well-being simply by honoring the client’s dignity and employing sensitivity. 

Knowing Proper Boundaries 

As well-meaning as friends and family are, unexperienced caregivers don’t always know what to look for in terms of minding their elderly loved ones. It’s also difficult to understand where to draw the line when safeguarding against falls and other risk factors. When anxious relatives attempt to protect their parents or spouses by overly limiting their independence, they can unwittingly contribute to even more physical and mental decline. Seniors forced by physical limitations or an otherwise sedentary lifestyle face deconditioning, a gradual decrease in muscle mass and strength, at a rate of up to 5% per day.

A knowledgeable caregiver can help seniors stay mobile by encouraging daily walks, engaging them in activities that require movement, and helping them navigate their homes. Just having someone present who has the training to know when to encourage activity and when to suggest rest could help ward off functional decline and keep seniors healthier longer. 

Staying Socialized

 

Time and time again, studies show a strong correlation between socialization and health. Grandparents who look after their grandchildren tend to be more active and eat healthier — some even stop smoking. Isolation, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. Loneliness contributes to high blood pressure, depression, and even increased mortality. While it might seem like living in a nursing home or other elder care facility would be a stellar way to ensure ongoing socialization, that’s not always the case. Seniors who are removed from familiar surroundings — their home, neighborhood, and favorite stores — may find it difficult to make friends and build a new social circle from scratch. 

Learn More About The Best Home Care 

Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution for caring for the elderly, exploring in-home care could be the key to maintaining independence and freedom for as long as possible. At Premier Personal Care, our caregivers can help with all kinds of daily activities, taking care of chores while also providing company even if it just means sitting together and sharing stories or watching TV. For more information about our services, contact us online or reach out to our Bucks County office by phone at 215-943-0201.

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